The Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.
The Dignity for All Students Act (§§10-18 of Education Law) defines harassment as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. The harassing behavior may be based on any characteristic, including but not limited to a person’s actual or perceived:
As you may be aware, school districts throughout the Town of Hempstead, including North Merrick, have joined in the town’s School Bus Safety Program, to increase school safety for all students.
New technology has been installed on all school buses that transport district students, including stop-arm enforcement cameras. This technology is designed to detect vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses while the stop sign arm and red lights are engaged. Officials from the town then review the footage to determine whether to issue a violation by mail. Please be cautious of when the stop-arms are engaged, both on and off school property.
It is important to note that the stop-arm enforcement cameras have been provided at no cost to the school district or taxpayers, as the program is entirely and exclusively funded through fees collected by the Town of Hempstead from violators. Enforcement begins in December 2022.
To enhance safety for our students, in addition to the enforcement technology, all buses have been outfitted with GPS tracking, as well as interior monitoring, which provides for improved video and audio recording.